Math 162 **Math for Teachers II** Spring 2009

__Professor__**:** Dave Kung

__Office__**:** 175 Schaefer Hall,
x4433 or 240-895-4433

** Email**: dtkung@smcm.edu

** Text**:

** Office Hours**: Monday
10:50-11:50

Wednesday 1:10-2:10

Thursday
9:00-10:00

** Overview**: Math 162 is a course primarily for students
who are seeking teaching certification.
Although more generally applicable, it will be geared toward those
seeking K-8 certification. We will spend most of our class time doing group
activities, working to develop mathematical reasoning and problem-solving
skills. The activities will be drawn
from the two texts, from handouts, and from other sources. These problems and the related readings are designed
to be interesting and difficult - you should expect to spend some real time and
effort (both in and out of class) struggling with them. However, by collaborating with your
classmates, you will be able to complete every math problem asked of you this
semester!

As a teacher, your ability to *communicate*
mathematical ideas will be much more important than your ability to just solve
problems. Furthermore, every day you
will have to listen to students’ explanations and try to discern what they
mean. To help develop these skills, you
will be expected to discuss mathematics in class, listen and respond to your
classmates’ ideas, examine multiple solutions to problems, and write out
complete solutions as homework. The
emphasis will always be on explaining your reasoning
and reflecting on the process of mathematical reasoning.

In the classroom, we will put a significant
emphasis on modeling the many facets of mathematical thinking. Thus we will all work to make clear, precise definitions, formulate conjectures, be critical and
skeptical of others’ work (but not of other people themselves), and prove or
disprove those conjectures.

We will also have the opportunity to learn
directly from interacting with children. Twice this semester, we will host
class visits, where a group of students will visit us on campus. More
information will be available later in the semester.

** Questions:** Feel
free to get in touch with me anytime during the semester with any questions or
concerns you have. The more feedback you
give me, the better I can adjust the course to your needs.

** Philosophy and Practice:** This
is a course in mathematics, not math methods.
Our focus will be on learning mathematics together by solving
interesting problems, alone and in groups.
Since all of us are in the process (which goes on forever) of becoming
teachers, it will be appropriate to occasionally step back and reflect on
pedagogy. I encourage you to do this in
your written work whenever you feel so inclined, and to bring things up in
class discussions when appropriate.

** Topics:**
After working on general problem solving skills during the first week, we will
dive into statistics, data and probability in chapter 7 for the first several
weeks. Afterwards, we’ll tackle geometry, covering chapters 8, 9 and 10 over
the course of 6 or 7 weeks. If there is time, we will spend a week or two
covering algebra, and how the concepts of algebra can be introduced early in
the K-6 curriculum. Throughout, we will emphasize some ideas and skip more
lightly over others, depending on the needs of the class.

** Grading:** Your grade in this course will be determined
as follows.

Class Participation: 10%

Midterm Exam: 20%

Class Visits: 20%

Homework Problems and other
Written work: 15%

Running Class Discussion: 10%

Final: 25%

** Participation:**
Learning in this class is considered to be everyone's shared
responsibility. Part of that
responsibility is attendance; when you are not here, not only do you miss
important work, but the entire class misses out on your contribution. If something comes up which will cause you to
miss class, please contact me ASAP (preferably by email). If you are a student-athlete or have special
needs, please see me in the first two weeks of the semester.

** Midterm Exam:** The
midterm exam will be given on March 10

** Class Visit**: Twice this semester (the first will happen
on Feb. 17

** Written work:**
Written work will come in two flavors, homework problems and written
reflections on mathematical topics. In
general, homework will be due the class period following the day that I assign
it. I’ll give you a week’s notice for longer written assignments.

** Running Class Discussion:** Many
scholars have researched the teaching and learning of elementary mathematics. In
consultation with Dave, you will identify an article for the class to read.
After doing additional background reading, you will run a class discussion on
the reading. Possible topics include the
NCTM Standards and their implementation, the Van Heile
levels of geometrical understanding, and Ma’s Profound Understanding of
Fundamental Mathematics.

** Final Exam:** The
final exam is scheduled for Thursday, May 7